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Historical Foundations of the Common Law

Historical Foundations of the Common Law BOOK REVIEWS s. F. C. Milsom, Historical Foundations of the Common Law. London, Butterworths, 1969. xiv, 466. This interesting and well-written volume continues and extends the great tradition of English legal historians. It is orthodox, yet novel; it tells the same story, but differently; it is familiar, yet new. Mr. Milsom's approach, organizing his materials in a relatively orthodox manner but being quite selective in topics covered, is to give a minimum of detail and to expend most of his space on analysis. His analyses are the most valuable parts of the book, because his insights in a very large number of cases are uniquely presented. The reason for the selectivity in topics covered is that Mr. Milsom's aim "is to give a single picture of the development of the common law." Consequently even within the topics covered his development of doctrine is terse and appears to assume some prior knowledge of English legal history on the part of the reader. He refers the reader at an early stage to other authors who give more detail. It is difficult, therefore, to state whether it is a proper introductory book for one with no previous exposure to the field. I http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Legal History Oxford University Press

Historical Foundations of the Common Law

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
Copyright 1970 Temple University. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
ISSN
0002-9319
eISSN
2161-797X
DOI
10.2307/844337
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

BOOK REVIEWS s. F. C. Milsom, Historical Foundations of the Common Law. London, Butterworths, 1969. xiv, 466. This interesting and well-written volume continues and extends the great tradition of English legal historians. It is orthodox, yet novel; it tells the same story, but differently; it is familiar, yet new. Mr. Milsom's approach, organizing his materials in a relatively orthodox manner but being quite selective in topics covered, is to give a minimum of detail and to expend most of his space on analysis. His analyses are the most valuable parts of the book, because his insights in a very large number of cases are uniquely presented. The reason for the selectivity in topics covered is that Mr. Milsom's aim "is to give a single picture of the development of the common law." Consequently even within the topics covered his development of doctrine is terse and appears to assume some prior knowledge of English legal history on the part of the reader. He refers the reader at an early stage to other authors who give more detail. It is difficult, therefore, to state whether it is a proper introductory book for one with no previous exposure to the field. I

Journal

American Journal of Legal HistoryOxford University Press

Published: Oct 1, 1970

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